Earlier this year, GMG launched the Interoperability and Functional Safety Acceleration Strategy (IFSAS) to coordinate collaboration on interoperability and accelerate alignment on functional safety. This initiative is funded by BHP and Rio Tinto.
The future of mining is digital and requires interoperability to be realized. Advanced digital technologies are enhancing – and in many cases revolutionizing – equipment, processes, planning and execution. To make this future happen, we need common definitions, standards, language, decision-making criteria and data exchange capabilities to change how people, equipment and software work together.
Alignment on interoperability is essential for enabling digital technologies and will ultimately lead to more productive, safe and cost-effective mines.
Alignment on functional safety is also essential for the integrated mine of the future as autonomous systems require many interoperable layers of protection. Accelerating work on the ongoing Functional Safety for Autonomous Equipment project is part of this strategy.
There is no easy solution. However, there are four critical elements to success:
- Build an industry vision and direction for interoperability and functional safety through mining company leadership.
- Develop guidelines and tools.
- Work with, support and leverage other organizations and their projects, both within and outside mining.
- Communications and industry engagement – you can’t solve interoperability in a vacuum.